The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 13, 2012

Anticipating world’s future

NORMAN — When you get down to it, predictions about what will happen in the future are a dime a dozen.

Popularly, they range from the notion of a unified humanity found in the “Star Trek” science fiction sagas to the fear that time itself will end later this month based on an interpretation of ancient Mayan calendars.

On a more serious level are models of things to come that perhaps paint a gloomy picture of a world low on resources and struggling with the consequences of global warming. Or they may envision a scenario where humanity is uplifted by advancing technology and increased demands for freedom. But generally speaking, they indeed argue that humanity has a future, albeit one that’s a mixed bag.

This week, the National Intelligence Council issued its annual report of expectations for the future. Called “Global Trends 2030,” it’s based on the analysis provided by America’s various intelligence agencies, produced by gathering existing data, reviewing policies of governments around the world and extrapolating what’s known today into the future.

The result is interesting. In many ways, the world of 2030 will be decidedly different than it is today if intelligence agency predictions pan out. For one thing, the report envisions an America that’s energy independent. That’s a far cry from the current situation, where the United States remains heavily dependent on foreign oil.

How will this independence arise? From exploitation of shale gas. But for this to happen, many technological adjustments will be required. For instance, today’s gasoline engines would have to give way to ones powered by natural gas.

And what happens if America is no longer interested in the politics of various unstable regions where today’s oil is found? That alone could lead to dramatic changes in the international landscape, including a reduced need for an American military presence around the globe.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014